RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Alvarez) — for a change, our Vice Rector / Dean of Men did the conference for the whole house on Salesian Sprituality. He shared some great personal experiences on St John Bosco, Salesian Spirituality, his “Preventative” System of Education (promote love over punishment), his 3 Pillars (reason, religion & kindness … also music and games), and some application to our lives & ministries.
Love is all important. Be sure people feel loved.
Meet people where their at. And yourself as well.
It’s a spirituality that helps us realize we need to have fun!
RECTOR’s CONFERENCE — today’s talk was for “returning guys” on the “Simplicity of Life” in more detail than earlier introduced. This is the basic outline of the talk.
I. The Evangelical Counsels
C. Simplicity of Life
D. Qualities Beyond Basics (to grow deeper)
E. Posture that creates openness
II. Poverty / Simplicity
A. Pinching limitation …
B. In regards to Present possesions — a lack
C. In regards to Future possessions — insecurity
D. First of the Beatitudes (reminds us God will provide what we need … trust)
E. In Religious Life —> freeing
F. Look at Complications in our lives
G. Look at Identity
III. Poverty Flows out of Hope
A. Faith —> Certainty in Present
B. Hope —> Expanding Certainty of Faith regarding Future
C. Obstacles to Hope: Possessions of the Particular
1. The Attribution of Certainty to Particular Things we already possess.
2. Hope has to do with non-possession, and the Virtue connected to that is Poverty
IV. Deepening Levels of Understanding
A. Eternal Level
B. Next Level: Freedom
C. Deeper Yet: Gladness (= Joy)
D. Deeper Still: Lacking Nothing
V. Detachment / Indifference
A. People live without thinking about this
B. Example of Painting
C. Comparison applied to Everyone
D. Poverty belongs to dynamic of Knowledge: it is Intelligent and full of affection
VI. Lectio: Matthew 6:25-34 …
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, 19 and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. — Matthew 6:25-34
This afternoon we were all back in seminary. Rector’s Conference to get us back on the same page. Holy Hour with Benediction to get us back in focus. Spring Semester classes start tomorrow morning!
RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) — tonight’s topic: THE CHURCH
I. GENERAL INTRO
A. Difficulties of Definition
1. Paul: EKKLESIA – a gathering of a group — a group of believers gathering “in the Lord” — local community gathering
2. Attempts at Definition
a. Baroque needs — tried to make mysteries visible & concrete
c. Risk of polarization
d. Search for clarity has a price — risk losing the presence of God
3. Subject of Mystery
a. innermost reality of Church is a divine gift, itself
b. Church is communion of men through grace of Christ
d. connaturality / intersubjectivity — we cannot objectify the Church because we are a part of it
e. mystery of Christ
4. Use of models
II. CARDINAL AVERY DULLES + MODELS OF THE CHURCH
A. Intro / Context
B. Original Models
1. Institutional – visible structure, right & powers of its officers
a. Negatives: can become rigid, doctrinaire,
b. this should never be the first or primary model
2. Mystical Communion – people united by the spirit in Christ, spiritual, communal, personal
a. Negatives: can lead to disillusion, simply “a friendly family of believers”
3. Sacrament – a sign & transmitter of God’s grace in the world, connects outward institutional & inner mystery
a. Negatives: can lead to “sterile aestheticism” (overly spiritualized)
b. this should be the primary model
4. Herard - faith & proclamation of Gospel, focused on preaching, share gift with others
a. Negatives: can be not incarnational enough, saying & not doing, can be rather pesimistic
5. Servant - part of the whole human family & sharing their concerns
a. Negatives: can seperate from Word & Sacrament, can forget the Church is a community, can disolve things distinct to Christianity
C. Addition of Sixth Model
1. Polarization of 70′s (models were not embraced)
2. “Community of Disciples”
Tonight’s RECTOR’s CONFERENCE was titled “Generations: Jesus Incarnate in History.” We profiled the last 5 generations with the strengths and weakenesses, along with how the Church benefits from the growth in change.
I. Prayer: Eccelesiates 3:1-8
II. Intro: (border guard story)
44. Just as it is in the world’s interest to acknowledge the Church as an historical reality, and to recognize her good influence, so the Church herself knows how richly she has profited by the history and development of humanity.
The experience of past ages, the progress of the sciences, and the treasures hidden in the various forms of human culture, by all of which the nature of man himself is more clearly revealed and new roads to truth are opened, these profit the Church, too. For, from the beginning of her history she has learned to express the message of Christ with the help of the ideas and terminology of various philosophers, and and has tried to clarify it with their wisdom, too. Her purpose has been to adapt the Gospel to the grasp of all as well as to the needs of the learned, insofar as such was appropriate. Indeed this accommodated preaching of the revealed word ought to remain the law of all evangelization. For thus the ability to express Christ’s message in its own way is developed in each nation, and at the same time there is fostered a living exchange between the Church and’ the diverse cultures of people.(22) To promote such exchange, especially in our days, the Church requires the special help of those who live in the world, are versed in different institutions and specialties, and grasp their innermost significance in the eyes of both believers and unbelievers. With the help of the Holy Spirit, it is the task of the entire People of God, especially pastors and theologians, to hear, distinguish and interpret the many voices of our age, and to judge them in the light of the divine word, so that revealed truth can always be more deeply penetrated, better understood and set forth to greater advantage.
… Moreover, she gratefully understands that in her community life no less than in her individual sons, she receives a variety of helps from men of every rank and condition, for whoever promotes the human community at the family level, culturally, in its economic, social and political dimensions, both nationally and internationally, such a one, according to God’s design, is contributing greatly to the Church as well, to the extent that she depends on things outside herself. Indeed, the Church admits that she has greatly profited and still profits from the antagonism of those who oppose or who persecute her.(23)
Theory of Stages of Historical Development: Crisis, High, Awakening, Unraveling
Types of Generations: Hero, Prophet, Nomad, Artist
V. General Ideas about Living Generations
The Great Generation (1911-1928) … Great Depression, World War II
The Silent Generation (1928-1942) … lived better than parents, went to college
The Baby Boomers (1942-1960) … Vietnam, civil rights, protests, assasinations, Woodstock, Watergate, Moon landing
Generation X (1961-1981) … Reagan Era, latch-key kids, no big government … smaller steps, philosophically post-modern
Millennial Generation (1982-2001) … 9/11, Internet, optimistic, “most loved generation” (Baby on Board), helicopter parents, “institution as family,” 46% non-white
VI. Considerations for Faith & Ministry
I found this Eucharistic music video on You Tube. It’s a collage of pictures arranged to music by a New Age band called Era (chant of an imaginary language close to Latin). This tune is called “The Mass,” I think …
DOTS — Narnia, Lion, Witch, Wardrobe movie, part 2 (in Spanish) — dish washing duty — Rector’s Conference on “Simplicity of Life” — LOST rerun — Night Prayer 4
PRE-THEOLOGY UPDATE — (1) the chapels in our off-campus housing should be done in about 4-6 weeks. (2) Since we raised concerns about feeling distant from the campus community, our personal “free-weekend-a-semester” opportunity has been rescinded. (3) Our house will have resident priest in a couple weeks. (4) Our backyard furniture has no status yet.
RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) — part 3 of a series on Fatherhood titled after a 2005 Vatican document, “The Instruction on the Criteria for Vocational Discernment with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and Holy Orders.” [full text of document]
PRE-THE NIGHT PRAYER & ROSARY — 10pm.
INCONSISTENT SCRIPTURE — as I’m practicing tomorrow’s Mass reading (I have lector duty), there are 2 passages to choose from since it’s the feast of the Conversion of St Paul. There’s a detail in both that is inconsistent. In one reading, when Paul is blinded by the light and hears Jesus speak to him, his companions “heard the voice” of Jesus … but in the other passage, they “did not hear the voice.” I tried finding some footnotes in various Bible versions, but only found a note in the NRSV that noted the inconsistency, but didn’t give any possible explanations. — I need to look up a comentary in the library
MASS – (Fr Michael) — today’s Mass intention was for Pope Benedict XVI, very appropriately with the Gospel reading of Jesus telling Peter to “Feed My Sheep.” The story behind the significance of the Corbinian Bear on the Pope’s coat of arms (upper right) was told. According to the background on Saint Corbinian (a Frankish bishop), a bear killed his pack horse on his way to Rome so the saint commanded the bear to carry his load. Pope Benedict XVI first adopted the symbol when, still known as Joseph Ratzinger, he was appointed Archbishop of Freising-Munich in March of 1977. He retained the bear in his revised coat of arms when becoming Cardinal in the same year and when elected to Pope in 2005. In addition to the obvious reference back to St. Corbinian, the founder of the diocese where Benedict was bishop, the bear represents Benedict himself being “tamed by God” as a “beast of burden” to bear the spiritual burdens of Benedict’s own ministries first as bishop, then as cardinal, and now as pope.
AQUINAS – (Fr Vallee) — more on Modernity and the extremes of Rationalism (reason) & Fideism (faith). Nature + supernature. Grace + nature. Samuel Taylor Coleridge quote: “Most men are right in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.”
CONTEMPORARY PHIL – (Fr Santos) — opening quiz on reading of Kierkegaard‘s “Equilibrium between the Aesthetic & the Ethical” in his book Either/Or. Introduced “inauthentic existence,” “radical subjectivity,” “disolving into a mutitude,” and self as “task” & “a dynamic process.”
MEDIEVAL PHIL – (Fr Vallee) — reviewed Stoicism and reflected on St Paul in Athens (Acts 17), especially his approach to preaching the gospel message among the Greeks of his time about their statue to the “Unknown God.”
MINISTERIAL METHODS – (Fr Michael) — “Classroom Management.”
RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) — usually on Thursday, this was an exceptional day since this Thursday we’re hosting the seminarians from the St Vincent’s Major Seminary in Boyton Beach, FL. Today’s topic was (part 2 of 3) on the Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
DOTS — night walk — Superman Returns – busy day
On the first day back to seminary after a 2 week Christmas break, the Rector Fr Michael had a Rector’s Conference disguised as an “Orientation Meeting” with some great points to think about as we begin a 4 day silent retreat tonight.
Beware of “practical atheism” when we say our prayers … and don’t live them.
Christianity is a lifestyle, not just an idea. C.S. Lewis quote: “For when you get down to it, is not the popular idea of Christianity simply this: that Jesus Christ was a great moral teacher and that if only we took His advice we might be able to establish a better social order and avoid another war?” [from chapter 23 of Mere Christianity]
Pope Benedict XVI quote on priesthood:
The priest must be a believer, one who converses with God. If this is not the case, then all his activities are futile. The most lofty and important thing a priest can do for people is first of all being what he is: a believer. Through faith he lets God, the other, come into the world. And if the other is not at work, our work will never be enough; When people sense that one is there who believes, who lives with God and from God, hope becomes a reality for them as well. Through the faith of the priest, doors open up all around for people: it is really possible to believe, even today. All human believing is a believing-with, and for this reason the one who believes before us is so important. In many ways this person is more exposed in his faith than the others, since their faith depends on his and since, at any given time, he has to withstand the hard-ships of faith for them….
There is a mutual given-and-take in faith in which priests and lay people become mediators of the nearness of God for one another. The priest must also nurture the humility of such receiving in himself ….
The first “task” a priest has to do is to be a believer and to become one ever anew and ever more. Faith is never simply there automatically; it must be lived. It leads us into conversation with God which involves speaking and listening to the same degree. Faith and prayer belong together; they cannot be separated. The time spent by a priest on prayer and listening to Scripture is never time lost to pastoral care or time withheld from others. People sense whether the work and words of their pastor spring from prayer fabricated at his desk. [Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, from A New Song for the Lord, tr. by Martha M Matesich, NY: Crossroad Publishing Co., 1996, and quoted in Magnificat for Holy Thursday, March 24, 2005.]
[Other links not mentioned today ...The Nature of Priesthood (1990 speech by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) ... Pope Benedict XVI's Homily to Seminarians in Cologne: "If You Abide in Christ, You Will Bear Much Fruit" (August 19, 2005 World Youth Day Meeting)]
Ended with a guided meditation, “Feed my sheep.”
MASS — [left shine]
SPANISH – (Dr Jimenez) — chaper 14 test + dictation + evaluation.
LUNCH — food court @ Dolphin Mall with J.
RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) — part 2 on Virtues for new guys.
TV — watched last to episodes of Pushing Daisies procrastinating 2 philosophy papers due tomorrow. [a blessing in disguise]
SPANISH 2 – (Dr Jimenez) — new chapter 14.1
TV CATCH-UP — watched missed episodes of The Unit & Cane.
RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) — about Moral Virtues (see seperate post).
PRE-T HOUSE — watched standup Jim Gaffigan. Night Prayer. House “cleaning” meeting.
Today’s Rector’s Conference was for new guys on “The Moral Virtues in Relationship to Seminary Life:”
I. Opening reflection: Ephesians 4:30-5:2
II. Pope John Paul II speaks to French Bishops about Priestly Formation (March 22, 1997):
(8.) Composed of people from different walks of life, the seminary must become a family and, in that image, enable each young man, with his own sensitivity, to develop his vocation, to become aware of his future commitments and to be formed in the community, spiritual and intellectual life under the guidance of a team of priests and teachers trained specifically for this task. … Further, it is appropriate to develop in candidates the practice of the theological and moral virtues, by training them to discipline their lives and to exercise self-control. A future priest must also learn to put his life in the Saviour’s hands, to consider himself a member of the diocesan Church and, through her, of the universal Church, and to undertake his activity in the perspective of pastoral charity.
III. (this year’s seminary theme is) Living the Real: Jesus, the Incarnate Mystery
IV. Habits & Virtues
A. “Habit” — a quality difficult to uproot that is well or ill-disposed regarding his nature or operations
B. “Virtue” — good habit
V. Kinds of Virtues
A. The Natural Intellectual Virtues
1. Virtues of Speculative Intellect (Understanding of First Principles & Science)
2. Virtues of Practical Intellect (Art & Prudence)
B. The Nature Moral Virtues (Cardinal Virtues)
Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude
C. Theological Virtues (for next week)
Faith, Hope, Love
VI. Moral Virtue: PRUDENCE
A. Prudence — order of right reason applied to doing things (human acts)
B. Sins against Prudence
1. Sins by Defect
a. Precipitation (Haste)
b. Inconsideration (Thoughtlessness)
2. Sins by Excess
a. Carnal Prudence — using reason to get an evil end
b. Craftiness — use evil means to get a good end
c. Excessive Solicitude — too prudent to move (paralyzed)
VII. Moral Virtue: JUSTICE
A. Justice — constant & perpetual will to render to everyone his due
B. Verbal Justice outside of judicial proceedings:
a. Contumely (reviling, insult)
b. Detraction (backbiting) — Simple (spread truth) & Calumny (spread lies)
c. Whispering (tale-bearing)
d. Derision (mockery) — joking manner
e. Cursing — wishing evil on someone
VIII. Moral Virtue: TEMPERANCE
A. Temperance — moderate man’s appetites …
B. Vices opposed to Temperance
1. Insensibility — too much
2. Intemperance/Immoderation — do whatever you want
C. Related Virtue vs Vices
1. Abstinence (from food) vs Gluttony
2. Sobriety vs Drunkenness
3. Chastity, Purity, Virginity vs Lust
4. Meekness, Clemency vs Anger, Cruelty
5. Modesty vs Pride
6. Modesty of Action and Dress
a. Good manner in society
b. Modesty in external behavior (“father” neither too macho nor effete)
c. Modesty in Recreation
d. Modesty in Dress
IX. Moral Virtue: FORTITUDE
A. Fortitude — pursue a difficult good even in the face of death or danger
3. Foolhardiness (too clueless to know one should be afraid)
C. Assist vs Oppose
a. Presumption (overestimate our ability)
c. Pusillanimity (underestimate ability)
2. Magnificence vs Stinginess
3. Patience vs Impatience
4. Perseverance vs Inconstancy
X. Pope Benedict Speaks
XI. Colossians 3:9-17
(no finished — details need to be added)
SPANISH 2 – (Dr Jimenez) — today we continued the imperative verb forms like “ataca Anti-Christo” and revisited the “gang of irregular preterites” (–ataca them too)
MASS – (Fr Michael) — today’s schedule was changed with 4:30 Mass for the “New Men Commitment & Reception Ceremony” to officially accept the New Men into the house, marking the end of the “New Student Experience.” The homily highlighted the feast of the Korean martyrs Andrew (priest) and Paul (catechist & seminarian). A beautiful Mass with a steak & champaign dinner afterwards. –delicious
RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) – the “New Men” had part 2 of 2 on “The Priesthood: A Theological Overview.” – Busy day.
MASS – (Fr Michael) — we can only preach Christ on our lips if THE WORD (Christ) is in our hearts. [Eucharistic minister were also commissioned - seniors & pre-Theology 2]
DAY — Spanish 2 preterite quiz. Also watched “300″ again, all the way through. In the evening, the “New Men” had a Rector’s Conference on “The Priesthood: A Biblical Overview” (part 1 of 2) with small group discussion afterwards.
Tonight’s “Rector’s Conference” was the 3rd part in a series on “Reason, Formation and Relationship with Christ.” I’m slow at taking down notes, so I welcome corrections or addition.
I. Intro — reflection on Matthew 16:13-19
II. The Good News: Jesus Christ
A. The Gospel — is a “person” — Jesus is the “Good News” that is proclaimed
B. The Heart of Evangelization — is a “person” (Jesus) that is proclaimed in order to lead others to him.
C. The Heart of Catechesis — is a “person” — instructions in the faith leads us to communion with Jesus.
III. The Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of God, our Lord.
A. Jesus — means “God saves” and there is power in his name.
B. Christ — means “Messiah” or “Anointed One” by the Father
C. The Only Son — relationship with the Father
D. Lord — claim Him as God
IV. The Incarnation
1. in order to save us by reconciling us to God
2. so we might know God’s love
3. be our model for holiness
4. make us partakers in the devine nature
B. True God & True Man
— mentioned some early Church heresies
— “God became Man”
— Jesus had a human soul, human will, human body, and loved with a human heart (in order to show us how)
V. The Mystery
— His words, deeds, silences and being is a revelation of the Father
— His whole life is a mystery of redemption that we must be open to receive
VI. The Face of God
— Jesus speaks as one who sees God the Father face to face
MASS – (Fr Alvarez) — today’s Gospel reading of Jesus calling the trusting apostles to be “fishers of men” was well illustrated by an Alka-Seltzer commercial (“Try it, you’ll like it!”). Sometimes we have to venture out of our familiar comfort zone and into the unknown for various reasons (fear, inadequecies, selfishness, etc), but the Lord calls each of us (uniquely) to trust His direction and “learn something new” that should surprise us in the “best way.” — Amen. Easier said than done, but baby-step are still moving.
SPANISH 2 – (Dr Jimenez) — Yo “failo” (I need the past preterite form) the review test (chapters 1-11) with a 48%, but surprisingly (and somewhat relieved) that some did worse. I definitely need to step up my catch up work, or it’s gonna hurt all semester. Learned a new word (that doesn’t exist) — “esterder” — I need to think of a good definition for it. Any ideas anyone? Kermit?
RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) — part 3 of a series on “Reason, Formation & Relationship with Christ.” I’ll post some excerpts separately.
Tonight’s “Rector’s Conference” was the 2nd part in a series on “Reason, Formation and Relationship with Christ.” I’m slow at taking down notes, so I welcome corrections or addition.
I. Intro: Acts 14:8-18 & Romano Guardini
II. Atheism vs. Theism
A. Alasdiar MacIntyre
B. Neitzsche & Kierkegaard
C. John Paul II
III. Rationalism vs. Fideism / Reductionism vs. Dualism
IV. Reason, Faith and the Beyond